How to take a snapshot of Smeargle in Pokemon Go and catch a shiny

Pokemon Go Smeargle

There's a very specific way to catching a Pokemon Go Smeargle, namely using the Snapshot Mode feature to take a picture of a pokemon and hoping the artistic pup photobombs your shot. If you've still not added on to your Pokedex yet, that's why - you're not going to run into one in the wild. That's because there's a very unique method of catching Smeargle in Pokemon Go, one that requires some special knowledge. On top of that, shiny Smeargle is coming to the game very soon thanks to an upcoming crossover event with New Pokemon Snap. So without further ado, here is everything you need to know about Pokemon Go Smeargle and how to catch a shiny one.

How to catch a Pokemon Go Smeargle

Pokemon Go Smeargle

(Image credit: Niantic)

Catching Smeargle in Pokemon Go involves using the Snapshot Mode feature - take a photo of any pokemon you fancy and there's a chance Smeargle will photobomb your picture. Here are the steps you need to take to catch a Pokemon Go Smeargle in more detail:

  1. Navigate to your items and select the Camera followed by any Pokemon, or pick the Pokemon of your choosing then select the camera icon in the top right corner
  2. Take a picture of your chosen Pokemon, then exit the Camera mode
  3. When navigating through your photos in the menu with the yellow background, Smeargle may have photobombed it
  4. If Smeargle isn't in any of your photos, repeat steps 1-3
  5. If Smeargle is in a photo, simply exit out and Smeargle will appear as a wild Pokemon in the world around you
  6. Tap on it and you'll be taken to the normal catching process for a wild Pokemon

Pokemon Go shiny Smeargle

Pokemon Go Smeargle

(Image credit: Niantic)

Catching a shiny Smeargle is unfortunately not easy. It traditionally only appears as an option during special events, debuting in the Pokemon Snap event when that launched. Shiny Smeargles also appeared briefly in the Festival of Colors. Out side of that, shiny Smeargles just don't exist. If you're desperate for one then your only real options are trading with someone who has one, or keeping an eye out for any further announcements about shiny friendly events. 

Pokemon Go Smeargle tips

There are some aspects to consider when trying to catch Smeargle in Pokemon Go:

  • If Smeargle is going to appear, it will be in the first photo you take each time you open the camera, so you don't need to spam the photo button multiple times.
  • You can only catch one Smeargle per day - this resets at midnight local time, not 24 hours after catching the last Smeargle
  • The Pokemon you take a photo of doesn't influence the chance of Smeargle appearing
  • We don't know the exact chance of Smeargle showing up, so simply rinse and repeat the above steps until it does
  • Smeargle's moveset will be copied from the Pokemon in the photo, so consider using stronger Pokemon if you want to use Smeargle in battle
  • Smeargle cannot copy Transform from Ditto, nor can it learn two Charged moves
  • Catching Smeargle contributes to the Cameraman badge
  • Smeargle will stay in the wild for an hour before disappearing
  • Smeargle can appear in a photo of another Smeargle
  • Smeargle can run away from you, so throw some Razz Berries if it's your first one

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Ford James

Give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager, or clicking on heads in Valorant.

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